When I was in the third grade, I went on a field trip to view a museum exhibit on Ancient Egypt. Since then, I’ve been completely captivated by the subject, particularly Egyptian mythology. I think it’s fascinating to study how ancient cultures, and not just those in Egypt, created gods, goddesses, and entire belief systems to explain the world around them. (I think I’ve mentioned before that I also have a fondness for Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. Fun stuff.) Anyway, my latest read, The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, delves into Egyptian mythology, and Riordan gives this world as much life as he did for Greek mythology in the Percy Jackson series and the Romans in The Lost Hero.
In The Red Pyramid, we meet estranged siblings Carter and Sadie Kane. When their mother died, the siblings were split up. Carter traveled the world with their archaeologist father while Sadie lived with their maternal grandparents in London. This Christmas, though, the brother and sister will be reunited for what they think will be an uneventful holiday with their father. They could not be more wrong. And it all starts when they blow up the British Museum.
As you can imagine, an explosion in a popular museum is a pretty big deal. It’s an even bigger deal when the explosion causes your dad to be imprisoned in a sarcophagus and several gods to be released into the world. It seems that dear old Dad was up to something, and it’s up to Carter and Sadie to figure out what’s going on and set things right before the world devolves into complete chaos. But how? How can two kids who barely know each other unite to stop Set, one of the gods who was released, from destroying all of North America?
Well, Carter and Sadie aren’t exactly normal kids (as you may have guessed). They are descended from pharaohs, and have the potential to be very, very powerful, especially when it becomes clear that a couple of Egyptian deities have taken up residence in their heads. Carter and Sadie are also being assisted by their Uncle Amos (who may or may not be on their side), the cat goddess, Bast (who Sadie always knew as Muffin, a beloved pet), a magical baboon named Khufu, an albino alligator called Philip of Macedonia, and a few gods, goddesses, and magicians that have agendas of their own.
Carter and Sadie must stop Set from completing construction on his red pyramid before sunrise on Set’s birthday. If they don’t, the pyramid will become a magical force that will ensure the spread of chaos and desolation across the continent and eventually all over the world. Can Carter and Sadie, two kids with very limited knowledge of their magical heritage, possibly defeat such a powerful force? What sacrifices will they have to make to even the odds? Will Carter and Sadie (and their lovely assistants) be able to restore balance to the world, or will chaos reign forever? Read The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan to find out!
I truly enjoyed how Riordan melded the modern world to Ancient Egypt in this book. It was interesting to read about how the Egyptian belief system evolved, and devolved, over time and how Carter and Sadie were charged with restoring it to its former glory. I appreciated how many of the gods and goddesses were viewed as neither good nor bad. Each being had both flaws and redeeming qualities. Additionally, I liked how Carter and Sadie grew closer together throughout the book. They were at their most powerful when they were united. I also loved the subtle allusion to the events in the Percy Jackson series at the beginning of the book. (It’s one of those blink-and-you-miss-it kind of things, so be on the lookout.)
As I’m sure you probably know, The Red Pyramid is the first book in a series, The Kane Chronicles. The second book, The Throne of Fire, is already out, and I plan to read that within the next couple of weeks. The third book in the series is scheduled for a spring 2012 release. If you’d like more information on this series or author Rick Riordan, visit http://www.rickriordan.com/my-books/kane-chronicles.aspx. Have fun!